Six ways to handle the stresses of senior year

Avoid going into cardiac arrest and survive your last three months of high school

Lillie Wightman, Oracle Staff Writer

Whoever said senior year would be the easiest is delusional. Whether it’s sports, homework, final exams, or college applications, senior year is stressful. Here are six senior-approved ways to make it through to graduation.


1. Meditate: Have you ever found yourself in the middle of class, suddenly overwhelmed with school, responsibilities, college, and just life in general? Did you proceed to panic and cry uncontrollably? You’re not alone, my friend. Just like many other seniors, you’ve had a mental breakdown. But do not fear! Meditation can help ease your mind and teach you how to cope with your senior stresses. First, find a quiet place and a comfy spot to sit or lie down. Close your eyes, slowly inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Try to focus on your breathing and clear your mind–which, trust me can be very difficult–but the more you practice it, the better you’ll become. Doing this for just five minutes every day can help disconnect you from your stress and improve your mental well-being. Try it and see!


2. More sleep: Dozing off in class? Staying up way too late to finish homework? Skipping first period just to sleep in a little bit longer? If you answered yes, you’re probably not getting enough sleep at              night. Senior year may be almost over, but there are still two months to go until graduation. In order        to face the stress and finish out strong, you need a full eight hours of rest every night. Make sleep a            priority. Try setting an alarm to remind you when to start getting ready for bed, and stick to it; or try        drinking some chamomile tea, which is known to induce sleep. You could even try meditating right            before bed. Take it from me: Don’t fall behind on your Zzzs!


3. Coffee: Ah, the lifeblood of the American workforce. Now, this option may be somewhat                  controversial, but hear me out. Coffee consumed in large quantities is bad and can even make you more stressed, but when consumed in small amounts, it can help boost your mood and ease your mind. Have you ever had a stress-induced raging headache? Have you ever desperately needed a pick-me-up to face the day ahead? Well, coffee is your new best friend! Try some Folger’s, Maxwell House, or even Starbucks (Note: Purchase Starbucks sparingly. It will break your wallet.).


4. Aromatherapy: Are you looking for ways to ease stress that require very little effort? Then this one’s for you. Aromatherapy is the practice of using plant materials and essential oils to naturally improve physical and mental health. Spray some lavender oil on your pillow or diffuse it throughout your room to help you fall asleep at night. Or, if you’re feeling stressed, put a little bit of eucalyptus oil behind your ears and on your temples. Not only will you feel better, you’ll smell great!

5. Yoga: Is stress preventing you from taking care of your physical health? Does Planet Fitness and all of its foreign equipment scare you away? Do you steer clear of exercise in general? No shame, my friend. Truth be, the last time I had a proper workout was well over a year ago. But yoga, though technically considered exercise, is easy and can be done at home with no experience required. Originating from India, it’s a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual exercises that are known to help ease stress. Search up some routines online, or even watch a youtube yoga session. Take it from me, you’ll have a zen attitude and drastically improved well-being.


6. Time management: Have you ever felt so stressed out that you put off work until right before it’s due? Do you find yourself struggling to cope with all the projects and papers that come your way? We’ve all been there (and still are). Everyone procrastinates, but there are ways to limit it. Eliminate any distractions when doing work; and yes, I mean your phone. Set it on “Do Not Disturb” mode and put it somewhere you won’t reach for it. Try writing down all your tasks on a monthly calendar so you can see what’s due ahead of time. Hang it above your desk or on your door, somewhere you’ll see it every day.